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William Fowler, Marble Falls, Keep Kingsland Beautiful named River Heroes

Backbone Creek stabilization project in Marble Falls

A drone shot taken March 18 of Backbone Creek bank stabilization work in Johnson Park. It is one of the projects that earned the city of Marble Falls a River Hero award. Photo courtesy of Kevin Hatfield/Jay-Reese Contractors Inc.

Highland Haven’s William Fowler, Keep Kingsland Beautiful, and the city of Marble Falls all will be honored by the Colorado River Alliance on June 9 for their work improving and keeping the Colorado River basin clean. 

Only a few tickets are left for the second annual River Heroes of the Highland Lakes event, which is 4:30-7 p.m. Thursday at Lakeside Pavilion, 307 Buena Vista in Marble Falls. Individual tickets are $150 and must be purchased in advance

The River Hero awards honor individuals and organizations that contribute to the preservation, beautification, and conservation of the Colorado River and the Highland Lakes. The event is also a fundraiser for the nonprofit Colorado River Alliance, which was founded in 1994 with support from the Lower Colorado River Authority. CRA’s mission is to provide education and engagement activities to help Texans protect the Colorado River and ensure its longevity, according to the CRA website

“By honoring the city of Marble Falls, we show what a city can do,” said Keri Pearson, director of Development for the alliance. “Keep Kingsland Clean shows what an organization can do. Honoring William Fowler highlights the difference an individual can make.”

Fowler, who was featured in The Picayune Magazine in 2020, works for the city of Highland Haven and has made it his mission to pull trash and discarded water toys and detritus from Lake LBJ. His Facebook group, Trash Environmental Fishing, has 631 members, double what The Picayune recorded two years ago. 

“He started a movement,” Pearson said. 

Keep Kingsland Beautiful was chosen by the alliance, with help from the local Host Committee, for a variety of cleanup projects, including handing out trash bags to boaters and picnickers. The group also adopted a highway and holds frequent cleanups in parks and at The Slab on the Llano River in Kingsland.

“The city of Marble Falls is doing amazing things,” Pearson said as she continued to extoll the virtues of this year’s award winners. “We talked to City Engineer Kacey Paul, and she rattled off a long list of capital improvement projects and plans. She talked about a stormwater project, the Backbone Creek tributary projects, and the bank stabilization project.”

Those attending the event will see firsthand what the city has done to improve drainage and stop erosion along Backbone Creek, which was negatively affected by the October 2018 floods. The Lakeside Pavilion venue has a prime viewing location for much of the park and creek improvements. 

Event attendees can also tour the Mobile River, an interactive science education tool on wheels. The unit is designed to enhance curriculum from the alliance that can be used in classrooms. Studies culminate with students visiting the Mobile River. Its next appearance in the Highland Lakes will be sometime this summer at both the Burnet and Marble Falls Boys and Girls clubs.

“Activities in our education programs are designed to empower students with tools to protect the future of the river and have a positive impact across the Highland Lakes area,” Pearson said. 

At the June 9 event, a reception and silent auction will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. Tours of the Mobile River are set for 5-5:30 p.m. The awards ceremony begins at 6 p.m.